On 11 August the Scottish Government published its consultation paper on changes to the Renewables Obligation (Scotland) Order 2009. The changes affect five areas, as follows:

Structural Changes

  • Extend the life-time of the RO to at least 2037.
  • Introduce a 20-year limit on support under the RO.
  • Remove the 20 ROC/100 MWh renewable electricity limit in the RO.
  • Retain the existing fixed targets until 2015/16, with headroom only after that date.
  • Increase the level of headroom from 8% to 10%.

Offshore Wind

A temporary uplift in support for offshore wind technology to reflect rising costs in this sector, but with the uplift falling back again in anticipation that costs will come down in the near future.  

Feed-in Tariffs

The introduction of Feed-in Tariffs, which provide a simpler mechanism than ROs, under which producers of energy from microgeneration who feed excess electricity into the national grid will receive a payment for that supply.

Biomass and Sustainability

Views are sought on whether there are any particular Scottish issues here.

Obligation Levels and Technical Issues

Following the introduction of banding and the switch to an obligation to supply a particular number of ROCs rather than electricity, views are sought on how, when and by whom the level of the obligation is to be estimated and calculated.

The consultation paper can be found at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2009/08/07092158/0 and responses are required by 29 October 2009.